Garden Within Doors at London’s Geffrye Museum

The British love their gardens and this love of plants and flowers carries through inside the house. In its latest exhibition, London’s Geffrye Museum explores plants and their role in homemaking over 400 years.

Sun and moon flowers by George Dunlop Leslie 1889
Sun and moon flowers by George Dunlop Leslie, 1889, Guildhall Art Gallery, London

THE EXHIBITION, Garden Within Doors, at London’s Geffrye Museum, looks at our enduring love of plants and flowers inside the house and their role in homemaking over 400 years. It shows why they were important, who chose and created displays and their links with the decorative arts. All the museum’s period rooms are decorated with appropriate houseplants and flowers. Visitors can see not only how the type of plants chosen changed over the centuries, but also some of the beautiful vases and jardinières used to display them. Special attention is given to the period 1800-1914 when domestic gardening and indoor plants were particularly popular with the middle classes. The nurseries, seed manufacturers, florists and plantsmen who played such an important part in the transformation of modest Victorian and Edwardian homes and gardens haven’t been forgotten.

The New Practical Window Gardener, by John R Mollison, 1877
The New Practical Window Gardener, by John R Mollison, 1877

Paintings, objects, photographs and gardening ephemera bring the subject vividly to life.

30 Mar-25 July. Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Road, London E2; tel: (020) 7739 9893. www.geffrye-museum.org. uk. Pictures: The Geffrye Museum, London and The Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London. Preview picture: Beautiful Flowers and How to Grow Them, by Horace J Wright, 1922. Geffrye Museum, London. Report by Pat Moore

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